Sunday, September 20, 2009

Maintain testing knowledge

I recently stopped smoking. It is about 4 weeks ago I didn't smoked any cigarette. During these weeks I noticed my focus switched to other important things besides testing, work and sitting behind the computer writing my blog or participating to forums related to testing. Somehow I needed all the attention to focus what was important at that moment: continue stop smoking.

The worse part of these weeks was the emotions which were involved. I can tell you, those were hard. Sometimes they are still hard. I stopped cold-turkey, which means, no means, just attitude and immediately.

Of course, there are courses which help you stop smoking. there are several methods which help might help. There are tools and medicines which might help stopping. I didn't try them before as I wasn't convinced they would help.

This made me wonder about testing. If in a normal process emotions are involved, why not in testing. I'm certain emotions are there, only can you show me a book related to testing which is dealing with emotions? If books are not writing about them, how can methods be successful? Emotions should not be neglected.

Another thing which slipped my mind, why spend so much time about investigating the proper method, choosing a method and implementing a method. When decision is made, it might const too much time and money to convince people why the chosen method is good and working. Perhaps just starting with testing is already sufficient and having an open mind set for what crosses your road.

I can imagine that when no borders are created by methods, creativity will grow and also ability to adapt. This will help you learn faster and provide means to get to your goal.

Another thing is learned behaviour. Some people say smoking is a bad habit. I did it for 17 years. And in those years I felt quite good about it. Only now I have to learn to live without it. What about testers. If newbie testers are learned with certifications, is this as bad as smoking? For some people it seems bad, for others not. The same with testers who learned certain behaviour in testing. they were thought to think in a certain way and became specialist in that way of thinking. Is that good or bad? Will they have a similar route to go when to stop thinking that way?
Which tools, methods, people are available to help, guide those?

I wonder which people are able to tell they are right and others are wrong. When this happens, also emotions are involved, emotions which are not written in books. What can be learned, and how can testing skills be maintained. I noticed in these four weeks, I neglected some part of learning.